David Moyes has admitted his “surprise” at Jesse Lingard turning down a return to West Ham in favour of joining Nottingham Forest.
The 29-year-old enjoyed a fantastic loan spell at West Ham in 2021, scoring nine goals in 16 Premier League appearances to reignite his stalling career.
Lingard returned to Manchester United to try and force his way back into their team, but left at the conclusion of last season after failing to cement a first team place. He was immediately tipped to return to West Ham, owing to his successful spell under Moyes, but ultimately decided to join Premier League new boys Nottingham Forest.
Speaking to the media ahead of West Ham’s opening day clash with Manchester City, Moyes conceded that Lingard’s decision had taken him aback given the club had done everything to convince him to join, while he also opened up on the difficulties of signing players in the current transfer window.
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“I was surprised, yeah. I thought Jesse in the end would come here and I’ve got to say the club made him a really good offer,” Moyes said of Lingard’s decision to move elsewhere.
“You couldn’t turn around and say David Sullivan and the owners didn’t do everything they could to get him. They certainly did. I’ve got to say the club have tried to get lots of players but for different reasons we’ve not been able to get them.”
When asked if he’d try to sign Lingard again in the future, the Scot added: “You never know, it’s a difficult question, I don’t see how I can answer it. If he scores 25 goals next year and does fantastically well, maybe I will. If he doesn’t, maybe I won’t.
“If only you knew. It’s been incredible,” Moyes said of West Ham’s struggles to sign players despite bringing in Gianluca Scamacca, Nayef Aguerd, Alphonse Areola, Flynn Downes and Maxwel Cornet.
“We’ve made bids for numerous, numerous bids. Genuine bids and genuine money and different reasons we’ve not got them. They’ve not wanted to come to the club or we’ve not got the financial deal right or we’ve not been able to pay the player and the agent so one way and another we’ve found it difficult to be competitive this summer. Hopefully come the end of the window we’ll have got ourselves in order.
“The difference is we’re trying to be in the top six rather than avoid the bottom six. The level of player you’re looking to buy, what that costs, harder to get, so what we’re trying to do means we’re looking at a much more expensive player, on bigger wages, coming from a higher level, so that’s what we’ve found difficult.”